Tutorial: The Art of RenderMan Volume 1
Issue: March/April 2019

Tutorial: The Art of RenderMan Volume 1

Rusty Hazelden (https://RustyHazelden.com) is a Canadian visual effects artist with 18 years of experience. Skilled in Maya, Houdini, and RenderMan, he recently put the finishing touches on a new, five-part tutorial series that looks at Pixar RenderMan for Maya.

The Art of RenderMan Volume 1 is available for viewing on YouTube and provides an introduction to Pixar's RenderMan for Maya. The tutorials focus on rendering an animation in Maya with photo-realistic materials and dramatic lighting. Details are explained with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

Some of the essential topics ifeatured in the tutorial series include: adjusting Pixar surface material attributes to create the look of plastic, wood, and metal; applying texture maps to add more detail to surfaces; aging a shiny metal surface by adding a layer of tarnish; and using the RenderMan IPR to interactively develop materials and lighting in realtime.

Viewers can also learn a range of lighting techniques that can be used to create a dramatic night time scene. In addition, the tutorials cover how to enhance the realism of a shot by enabling depth of field and motion blur.

Details in Alembic workflows in RenderMan show users how to assign materials to Alembic archives using the Dynamic Rules Editor.

Some of the tutorial series’ advanced topics include: using a light filter and light linking to control scene illumination; sharing 2D texture placement nodes to make shading networks simpler to maintain; fine-tuning the render settings; using the RenderMan denoiser to cut down on render time; and batch rendering the final animation.